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Latter-day Saint Charities donates $20 million to support global vaccination campaign

UNICEF staffer Rafik ElOuerchefani inspects pallets of auto-disable syringes and safety boxes at a warehouse in Dubai Logistics City in the United Arab Emirates on February 21, 2021. Credit: UNICEF/UN0419491/Pableo

SALT LAKE CITY — Latter-day Saint Charities is donating $20 million to support the global campaign to provide 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines to those in low and middle-income countries.

This donation to the global COVAX program was announced in a joint news release on Friday morning by UNICEF, the United Nations’ Children’s Fund and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“The new grant will contribute to UNICEF’s historic efforts in leading the procurement and supply of 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines to around 196 participating COVAX countries and economies by the end of 2021,” the groups said on Friday. 

Those first 2 billion doses are intended to protect frontline health care and social workers along with those who are most vulnerable and at risk.

“COVID-19 is the first truly global crisis we have seen in our lives. No matter where we live, the pandemic affects every person, including children. There has never been a more urgent need to work together. This grant for our important role in COVAX, from Latter-day Saint Charities, is the single biggest donation from a private sector partner that we’ve received to date,” UNICEF’s executive director Henrietta Fore said.

“We hope that their generosity inspires other organizations, businesses and individuals to help us ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.”

UNICEF is the world’s largest provider of vaccines, and  Bishop Gérald Caussé, Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ, said they are grateful for the organization and support they are providing to a global community.

” [UNICEF has]  done so much to care for children and their families and help them meet basic needs and fulfill their potential,” he said.

“As more adults in vulnerable communities are vaccinated, critical health, nutritional and educational services for children in need will be able to resume. We hold hope in our hearts not only of overcoming the pandemic, but of seeing a brighter future for all children and their families.”

Latter-day Saint Charities, the humanitarian arm of the church, has supported 1,050 COVID-19 relief projects thus far in 152 countries and previously made a $3 million dollar donation to UNICEF in 2020 to help the agency fund COVID-19-related water, sanitation, and hygiene services.

 

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